Friday, March 25, 2011

Slaves of the Master

Book Review: Slave-The Hidden Truth About Your Identity In Christ
by John MacArthur

The background to this book is a translation issue and the implications in a Christian’s life based upon their understanding of their relationship to Christ. The Greek word doulos literally means “slave”. This is how I learned it in my two semesters of New Testament Greek. I remember translating sentences my professor had created for practice and over and over we would be translating ‘o doulos- “the slave”. It seemed to me at the time that we were practicing this word a lot for the relatively few times that the New Testament references slaves. What I came to learn, what MacArthur points out in his book, is that doulos is often translated as “servant” rather than “slave” (see Romans 1:1 and James 1:1 as easy to locate examples).

MacArthur discusses the reasoning behind this translation choice, essentially reasoning that it is in order not to offend our modern sensibilities. Personally, I think it is a complex issue. Mention the word slavery and Western minds will automatically think of American/British chattel slavery. In fact, you have probably heard an atheist/agnostic attack the Bible, claiming it supports slavery. Their reference point when doing so is American/British chattel slavery. But, as MacArthur points out, this is not the reference point of doulos. MacArthur explains the differences between the modern concept of slavery and slavery of the Greco-Roman world. Without idealizing slavery (it is still slavery) MacArthur says that slaves of this time could find considerable standing (serving as doctors or teachers), even respect and honor based upon who their master was. If they had a benevolent master they, in many cases, would even enjoy a more enviable lifestyle than the free poor.

What significance does this have to my relationship with Christ? Well, if I am merely Christ’s servant then I have chosen to hire myself out to him. If I don’t like the work or the wages I can choose to hire myself out to another master. However if I am a doulos (slave) then I am not my own, for I was bought at a price (1 Cor 6:19-20), that price being the precious blood of Christ Jesus himself! In this economy Christ has chosen me, I am His, He sets the work before me and I have no choice but to do it, after all, I belong to Him.
Two final points are worth consideration: First, we may think ourselves to be free, but the clear teaching of Scripture is that we are born slaves to sin (Romans 6:17). However, through the shed blood of Christ we have been set free from slavery to sin, whose wage is death, in order to become slaves to righteousness, the wages being eternal life (Romans 6:18)! Second, no master could be more benevolent than Christ. In the Greco-Roman system of slavery a slave might enjoy considerable prestige based upon his masters standing in society. For Christians, our master is the King of king and Lord of lords. The glorious doctrine of adoption shows us that though we are slaves we become sons, sons whom Jesus is not ashamed to call brothers (Hebrews 2:1).

This book is worth a read (or a listen) and will challenge your commitment to your master. Personally, I listened to the book narrated by MacArthur. The audio book is available from

I received this book free from through the christianaudio Reviewers program.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Blogging takes a hit

I thought that I had completely lost all blog-fans with my terrible posting streak. It's feast or famine folks. We have a very full plate, and blogging often suffers. Something has to. So, if you're a faithful checker-in, kudos to you. We're still alive and kicking. God is good. David keeps me busy in addition to me working full-time. And, Brian is still busy going to school and working. He graduates in . . . drum roll please . . . 36 days! We're so proud of him. He will then start working full-time at church, which he (really we) LOVES.

There are 11 new posts below. Pace yourself. You don't have to read them all at once. You might want to brew some coffee first, or tea, or hot chocolate, or whatever you like to drink while reading.

So, thanks for persevering for more than 4 long months. Hopefully, it won't be so long next time.

Pumpkin Patch

We didn't want David to feel jipped or feel un-American for not having photos with pumpkins :). So, we headed to a cute little farm that we like around here, Taborah Farms. And, as you can see, David didn't catch on to the whole pose-with-the-pumpkin-David. He eventually did, but not at first. It takes a little while to realize the amazingness of those large orange balls with brown stems. It was a beautiful fall morning, and I'm glad we could get some fun family shots.

Peace Valley Park

I'm sure I've posted about Peace Valley Park many times before on here. We love it there. Can you see why from the pictures? It's gorgeous and peaceful (maybe, hence the name). It's perfect for walking or biking with it's 5 mile path around the lake. I think David enjoys it too. We had to take advantage of a fun fall Saturday afternoon. Maybe we'll need to invest in a bike seat for David :)

First haircut

Brian has a particular dislike for hair touching ears (on boys), so it was most obvious that David needed a few hairs snipped. His hair is a unique thing -- full on top and thin on the sides. So, the top is what really got the cut. Here is the scene: David sits in his bumbo seat (aka, the hair cutting seat) while playing with a coveted keychain (to distract him). Brian holds David head still (looks more like wrestling). And, I begin trying to cut his hair without clipping his ear off. It was a challenge. Thankfully, we all remained unscathed and David's haircut wasn't too bad. And, ironically once the haircut finished, fireworks started going off outside (who knows why?). It was monumental

Here is a "before" photo:

Mom's 60th Birthday!

September is a birthday-full month for us! And, this year happened to be milestone birthdays for my sister and mom! My mom was especially deserving of a special birthday party. She couldn't remember the last one she had. We did it big folks . . . at a fun restaurant with lots of family and friends. (The cake is from Dingledein's Bakery if you're wondering --!). My bro and his family came up from Virginia, and we also had family in from Seattle and Canada! The highlight of the night though was sharing and hearing others share about how amazing my mom is and how many lives she has touched. It's quite remarkable. Did you know she has 3 masters degrees and a doctorate (MD and DO). She's quite accomplished!

Here are some fun pics from the evening . . .

Mom and Pop-Pop (her dad :)

David's first Phillies Game!

We love, love, love the Phillies! And, we love going to Citizens Bank Park. And, we can now say that David LOVES going to Phillies games too. David of course was outfitted in all Phillies gear, down to his sock and pacifier (thanks Uncle Mike and Aunt Jenna!). Fans around us continually talked with David, and he gave out tons of smiles and shreaks. I was shocked at how well David did sitting on our laps . . for all 3.5 hours.

David got a special certificate from the ballpark to commemorate his first game. And, we of course snapped many photos!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Joy's Sweet 16

Joy's Sweet 16 was a blowout. Per Joy's one birthday request, there was a moon bounce. There was also a DJ, a dance area, volleyball, a tent, and lots of family and friends. Kim did a great job planning, and I enjoyed helping! We had a blast, and Joy definitely enjoyed herself. We tried to keep it a surprise, but there were numerous "spoiling the surprise" moments . . . that we just had to roll with.

I cannot believe Joy is 16! (I feel so old). It's hard to not use joy when describing Joy, but she truly is joyful. She's has become a best friend to me. With 14 years difference, I don't know that I could say that about many people. I remember driving Joy around when she was just 2 years old. I remember drawing on the driveway with chalk together. I must confess Joy was VERY patient with me always playing with her Pantene-ProV hair. I loved caring for Joy and being her big sister. And, I love how she now helps care for me . . . comforting me during some very painful pregnancy issues last year, helping me with David ALL THE TIME, and just being a great friend to chat with with.

I could go on . . . but, here are some party pics :)

Arriving . . .
Surprise(ish) . . .
Milling around . . .
Joy and Mom (Kim)
Dad and Joy
Joy and Megan (BFF)
Me and Joy

Random pics

Here are some random pics from the summer that I can't resist posting :)

Happy boy . . . playing
David's first AAA baseball game: The Iron Pigs (in Allentown)
Fun with GG and Poppy
Sleepy boy
Excited for lunch . . . bright eyes

Vacation . . . where else but OBX

You should know by now, OBX is where we vacation :). (Our "OBX Clan" is pictured). We know the back roads, we know the shops that are worth shopping at, we know where you shouldn't go mini-golfing, we know where to go running in neighborhoods. We just love it there. It's becoming a home away from home. Oh, and did I mention that it's super affordable when you go with a few families?!! I could go on and on . . . but, I will spare you.

David definitely added a new aspect to vacation -- super fun and entertaining, but also more work than your pre-baby mind had ever anticipated. I still got up at 6am every day to feed David so that he would continue to take his 2 long naps which we worked around for beach and pool time. For us, that worked well. I would then take a nap at our pool (alone) while David napped.

David wasn't so sure about the ocean, but he did like both pools -- the baby pool we blew up on the beach (and filled with a little ocean water) and the pool at our house. My beach time was not particularly relaxing, but it was still wonderful. Brian and I both blessed each other with a non-David day to feel like we really had a break, and those days were wonderful for both of us! Brian and I also enjoyed our date night immensely -- ice cream, shopping, and watching the sunset!

I think I shed some of my last pregnancy pounds here running every day with Joy and Megan. I enjoyed that!

Here are *some* vacation pictures, . . . we probably took about 200.

David drove most of the way . . . and kept threatening to pull the car over if Brian and I didn't keep it down in the back.
Us on Jockey's Ridge
My bro's fam
My dad and step-mom :)
Our favorite girls: Joy (my sis) and Megan!
Loving the view from Daddy's shoulders
Fun in the pool
Like royalty . . . shaded and all
Beach time
My favorite pic of Bri from vacation